FIX: Internet Explorer black screen issues

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Internet Explorer may sometimes display a black screen instead of the particular web page requested by the user.
  • Once that happens you can't do much on the particular webpage. We can help you fix the problem with this guide.
  • Bookmark our Software page. It might help you in the future if you're looking for such information.
  • If you want to understand more about browsers head over to our Browsers Hub
How to fix Internet Explorer black screen issues

Internet Explorer (IE) may, at certain inconvenient times, display a black screen instead of the particular web page requested by the user.

It’s like, one moment, the web browser is working fine and the user surfing the internet, and the next moment, as you try to open another web page, a black screen is displayed.

Once that happens you can’t do much on the particular webpage. It is an endlessly irritating problem. Similar issues have been faced with Firefox, and Google Chrome browsers.

There are a couple of solutions you can use to solve this problem, which we will discuss below.

Possible causes of the black screen problem in Internet Explorer could be that the web page may have a feature or features which trigger rendering conflicts with the graphics processing unit (GPU).

Third-party software add-ons and extensions you have added to your Internet Explorer could also be causing the same rendering conflict.

These would result in an Internet Explorer fault and, consequently, the display of a black screen, among a whole host of other problems.

Yes, they are designed to speed up web page rendering and enhance features of software applications.

But the graphics processing unit (GPU) and some software add-ons, when handling certain web page features, may cause the display of a black screen in Internet Explorer.

How do I fix the black screen issue in Internet Explorer?

  1. Try another browser
  2. Check for pending Windows updates
  3. Turn off hardware acceleration in Windows
  4. Uninstall or remove add-ons and extensions you added to your IE browser

1. Try another browser

You can start the tweaking with our solutions below but first, why don’t you try Opera, a browser less prone to errors and more reliable overall.

This browser is increasingly better integrated with Windows 10 and receives updates every month so it keeps you safe and up-to-date. That is translated to fewer errors and modern UI always.

Moreover, you can customize Opera exactly like you want it to be with a library with more than 1000+ add-ons to choose from. A lot of features like an Ad blocker, a VPN, and many others are already included.

Don’t take our word for it. Download and try it for free!

Opera

Opera

Say goodbye to errors and other issues. Opera is seamlessly integrated with Windows 10 and it’s highly customizable.

2. Turn off hardware acceleration in Windows

  1. Click the Windows Start button.
  2. Click Control Panel. This opens the Windows operating system control panel and enables you to change Windows settings and customize the functionality of your computer.
  3. Click Internet Options to open Internet Properties (This enables you to configure your internet display and connection settings). internet explorer properties
  4. Click the Advanced tab. This opens the Settings folder.
  5. Under Accelerated Graphics, turn on the feature Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering by checking its box. disable hardware acceleration for Internet Explorer
  6. Click OK and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Note: Remember that the request to use software rendering instead of GPU rendering is effected in the Windows operating system, not in Internet Explorer(IE).

Internet Explorer uses the internet display and connection settings in the Windows operating system.


3. Check for pending Windows updates

Before you change anything on your Windows and Internet Explorer settings, you perhaps need to check if there aren’t any Windows updates you haven’t effected on your machine.

Maybe your PC is not set to automatically perform updates and patches.

Microsoft has tried to fix this issue by setting Windows 10 Home PCs to automatically receive updates but users running older versions still have an option to opt out of automatic updates.

Failing to update your OS can sometimes cause incompatibility issues with new features. A patch for the same problem you are encountering may even have been released.

So it is a good idea to always check for any available updates. Depending on the Windows version you are running, simply typing check for updates in the Windows search bar is all you need to do.

update windows

For instance, this PC is set to automatically receive updates. This is how we know that the PC is up-to-date and can safely proceed to this next fix.


4. Uninstall or remove add-ons and extensions you added to your IE browser

  1. Launch Internet Explorer (IE).
  2. Select Toolsdisable Internet Explorer add-ons
  3. Select Manage Add-ons.
  4. Under the Show drop-down menu, select All add-ons.
  5. Select the required add-on. disable Internet Explorer add-ons and toolbars
  6. Select Disable, then click on Close.

It’s a prudent practice to limit the number of add-ons you use. Some periodic housekeeping by deleting add-ons you are no longer using from your computer will also help.

These fixes should help fix this black screen problem in Internet Explorer browser. If the problem persists even after exhausting the fixes we discussed here the last option you may have is to raise a support ticket with Microsoft.

With other browsers you could simply uninstall the browser and install a new version from scratch. But being the Windows OS’s default browser, this option may be a little tricky.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.